The Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) was initially invited to Brazil in April of 2003 by the Council for Economic and Social Development. The Council, which consists of representatives from government, academia, business, trade unions, and non-governmental organizations, was created by President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva as a forum for inclusive policy debate. IPD was asked to look closely at the trade-offs associated with different policy options. In order to gather all of the necessary information, a series of meetings were held with senior government officials, members of parliament, academics, and representatives from the business community.
Following the IPD Brazil Country Dialogue on Pension Reform in April 2003, the Council for Economic and Social Development invited IPD to return to Brazil to discuss a broader set of issues on how to stimulate growth and development. The IPD team brought issues of fiscal accounting to the forefront of national discussion and contributed to the development of the dialogue on industrial policy. Brazil has become a leader for developing countries by advocating for more equitable trade agreements, especially in the areas of US and European agricultural subsidies - an issue that was discussed extensively in the dialogue.
Meetings were held with the Council, academia, government officials and the private sector. The first set of meetings was held in Brasilia and was organized by UNDP's local office. IPD met with the Central Bank, President Lula's chief of staff, the Minister of Land Reform, the Senate, and ECLAC. The IPD team raised issues relating to growth and development in Brazil, such as interest rate and credit policies. In addition the team gave a public lecture at ENAP (a university of public affairs), focusing on industrial policy as a tool for growth.
In Sao Paolo, IPD attended the monthly meeting of the Council for Economic and Social Development, and met with the city's leadership, as well as with members of the private sector and academia. In addition, IPD collaborated with the Council and VALOR Economico, a major Brazilian newspaper, to organize a full-day public dialogue, attended by over 400 people. The dialogue centered on Brazil's economic role in the world. The event received considerable coverage in the media, and led to increased public awareness of the issues discussed.
IPD will continue to work with Brazil and the Council for Economic and Social Development as Brazil continues to negotiate domestic and foreign policies conducive to growth and equitable development.